Cycling coalition meeting for second AGM on Feb. 26

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is marking its second successful year with its AGM to be held Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Evergreen Seniors Lounge of the Florence Filberg Centre.

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is marking its second successful year with its AGM to be held Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Evergreen Seniors Lounge of the Florence Filberg Centre.

The Coalition will review the accomplishments of the past couple of years, and the challenges that are coming up. Nancy Hofer, environmental planner for the City of Courtenay, will give a presentation with opportunities for questions.

There will be a number of door prizes drawn for members to win, thanks to several local bike shops. Gift certificates will also be drawn for merchandise from Ski Tak Hut, sponsor of the award for Most Innovative Entry in the 2010 Christmas Parade, which was won by the Cycling Coalition.

Memberships for 2011 will be available at the meeting. Prospective members are encouraged to join the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition and help lobby for safer cycling routes and facilities in our Valley.

A lot of planning for improvements to cycling infrastructure in the Valley has been initiated over a number of years, but not enough positive changes are to be seen on our roads. Among many other things, the CVCCo works with the BC Cycling Coalition and the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force to prioritize the individual projects and move forward with making our roads safer for cycling.

Safer cycling routes will encourage many more people in the Valley to ride their bikes to school, to work, to go shopping, or just for the fun of it, which will help to make our air cleaner and our population healthier.

All cyclists in the Valley are needed to unite in this coalition to help identify the trouble spots and speak with a common voice when lobbying different levels of government.

Courtenay council has adopted amendments to the Official Community Plan (OCP) that include reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 20 per cent of 2007 levels by the year 2020. With 66 per cent of GHG emissions coming from transportation, that is where most of the reduction can and must be made.

The OCP amendment recognizes that we must reduce the number of cars on our roads and that cycling can make a significant impact on achieving this.

A recent presentation given by the engineering department to Courtenay council proposes to turn Fitzgerald Avenue into a cycling-friendly street — a test project to make changes in the way we plan for transportation. Hopefully council will support the community in this initiative toward creating safe cycling routes.

For more information on the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, visit cyclecv.squarespace.com.

Krista Kaptein writes Shifting Gears with contributions from fellow CVCC members Ed Schum and Jim Palmer. It appears every fourth week.

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